Sweden | A Commitment To Repurposing and Reusing
Sustainable living is a big commitment in Sweden. Reusing, recycling and repurposing are part of everyday life here. So much so, that communities have even taken to repurposing old railway lines and turning them into tourist routes. If you are looking for an off the beaten path adventure head to Skåne, Sweden’s southernmost region and go on a trolley cycle ride.
Skåne is a quick day trip from Copenhagen and is a landscape rife with farms, forests, creeks, lakes, rivers, streams, beaches, and the Baltic Sea.
Draisine | A Brief History of The Trolley Cycle
Back in the 1800’s rail travel began giving way to the automobile. As trains routes were abandoned in favor of faster and more convenient cars, the railway tracks fell into disrepair. They became overgrown and rarely used. Enter the environmentally friendly Swedish mentality. In the 1970’s communities along the abandoned train tracks decided to repair them and turn them into trolley cycling routes.
Trolley cycles are bicycles designed specially to ride the train tracks. These bikes are easy to peddle and its virtually impossible to topple over making it safe and fun for people of all ages. Built with a bike seat, peddles and handlebars for one, and a bench seat that fits another adult or child. These special bicycles were modeled after the draisine – an old auxiliary rail vehicle invented by Karl Drais. Draisine were utilized by rail service personnel and transport crew to maintain railway infrastructure.
The draisine is allegedly the first commercially successful two-wheeled, steerable, human-propelled machine. the draisine is also known as a hobby-horse or dandy horse.
There are many trolley cycle routes to choose from around Skåne. We rode a route beginning in Tomelilla. The ride was sublime. We passed farmland, forests, creeks, and lots of animals.
It was peaceful and we had perfect weather. We stopped for a light picnic snack at the end of the line.
Practicalities | Where To Find A Trolley Cycle
Trolley cycles can be found in a number of places in Skåne. The routes are varied in topography and length of the route. Trolley cycling is the perfect adventure for friends, families, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
I hope that you have the chance to discover Skåne via the trolley cycle. It is a day out you won’t soon forget.